Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To amuse oneself in a light, frolicsome manner.
  • intransitive verb To amuse (oneself) in a light, frolicsome manner.
  • intransitive verb To display.
  • noun Frolicsome diversion.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Diversion; amusement; play; sport; pastime; merriment.
  • To carry away; transport; deport.
  • To divert; cheer; amuse sportively or gaily: usually with a reflexive pronoun.
  • To display in a gay or sportive manner; sport.
  • To play; sport; indulge in gaiety.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun Play; sport; pastime; diversion; playfulness.
  • intransitive verb To play; to wanton; to move in gayety; to move lightly and without restraint; to amuse one's self.
  • transitive verb To divert or amuse; to make merry.
  • transitive verb To remove from a port; to carry away.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb to amuse oneself divertingly or playfully; to cavort or gambol
  • verb to display ostentatiously
  • verb To remove from a port; to carry away.
  • noun archaic A pastime; anything which diverts one from serious matters; a game; sport; relaxation, recreation; entertainment; amusement
  • noun obsolete Fun; gaiety; merriment; mirth; joy
  • noun obsolete Deportment; bearing; carriage.
  • noun obsolete orientation; elevation; bearing.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb occupy in an agreeable, entertaining or pleasant fashion
  • verb play boisterously

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English disporten, from Old French desporter, to divert : des-, apart; see dis– + porter, to carry (from Latin portāre; see port).]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Old French desporter. See also "sport".

Examples

  • "Revenge" is set in the best neighborhood in the Hamptons, or the producers' notion thereof: a place of gleaming beaches, endless blue skies, mansions where the spoiled rich disport themselves with somebody else's husband or wife.

    The Rich, the Bad, the Vengeful

  • The clerical staff will not disport themselves in raiment of bright colors, nor will they wear hose unless in good repair. colors?

    Workplaces have been worse! | My[confined]Space

  • The clerical staff will not disport themselves in raiment of bright colors, nor will they wear hose unless in good repair.

    Workplaces have been worse! | My[confined]Space

  • “If we are to disport ourselves, we will have to make haste,” I say.

    Secret History of Elizabeth Tudor, Vampire Slayer

  • “If we are to disport ourselves, we will have to make haste,” I say.

    Secret History of Elizabeth Tudor, Vampire Slayer

  • On Sunday nights from 10-11 (when I ordered my husband and children to disport themselves elsewhere) you were mine.

    Far From the Madding 'Mad Men' Crowd

  • Far better the swift month of engagement every four years or so which forces all parties into a straitjacket of conciseness and clarity that they would surely eschew if given the luxury of a year and more in which to disport their wares ad infinitum et ad nauseam.

    Archive 2007-10-07

  • Those in Shetland and Orkney Islands who know no better, are persuaded that the seals, or silkies, as they call them, can doff their coverings at times, and disport themselves as men and women.

    The Seal Maiden

  • Those in Shetland and Orkney Islands who know no better, are persuaded that the seals, or silkies, as they call them, can doff their coverings at times, and disport themselves as men and women.

    Archive 2009-08-01

  • Far better the swift month of engagement every four years or so which forces all parties into a straitjacket of conciseness and clarity that they would surely eschew if given the luxury of a year and more in which to disport their wares ad infinitum et ad nauseam.

    The Fixed-Term Panacea

Comments

New comments are temporarily disabled while we update our database.

  • The following is related by an eminent naturalist: ‘A young lady was sitting in a room adjoining a poultry yard, where chickens, ducks and geese were disporting themselves. A drake came in, approached the lady, seized the bottom of her dress with his beak, and pulled it vigorously. Feeling startled, she repulsed him with her hand. The bird still persisted. Somewhat astonished, she paid some attention to this unaccountable pantomime, and discovered that the drake wished to drag her out of doors. She got up, and he waddled out quietly before her. More and more surprised, she followed him, and he conducted her to the side of a pond where she perceived a duck with its head caught in the opening of a sluice. She hastened to release the poor creature and restored it to the drake, who by loud quackings and beating of his wings testified his joy at the deliverance of his companion.’

    – Ballou’s Monthly Magazine, May 1870 (via futilitycloset.com)

    January 20, 2012

  • That broke my heart a little--in a good way. Thanks, oroboros.

    January 20, 2012